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Letters To The Editor

Odor Problem Is Nationwide

Having just read Tuesday's column by Thomas R. Karlo '97 entitled "MIT Must Act to Prevent Student Odor," I remembered some graffiti that I saw in an elevator at Stanford University.

In one handwriting were the words: "Die CS non-bathers!" Right below that, in another handwriting: "It's my party and I'll stink if I want to."

Even at that bastion of beautiful people, sun, and fun, they have the same problem' that we do. As a recovering nerd, I feel that we should give the non-bathers the space they need to be themselves.

Brian T. White '85

The Tech Should Be More Selective

After reading the sometimes funny - but mostly bizarre - column by Thomas R. Karlo '97 ["MIT Must Act to Prevent Student Odor," Sept. 17] on why MIT should act to "prevent student odor," I could not help but recall similarly bizarre opinion articles that have emerged as of late. I recall two opinion articles by a news staffer at The Tech entitled "Recitations for Class Should Not Be Ignored" and "Planning Ahead Can Bring Unforeseeable Difficulties."

Both of these articles were frighteningly inane. Writing, like any form of expression, is a window into one's intellect. That is to say, if a person expresses something (especially in mass media like The Tech) to the public, then some mechanism inside of them must have approved of the content of the expression before the expression was made. When I pore over the two opinion articles I have referred to above, the adjective "frightening" seems most suitable to describe the mental mechanism that approved those two articles. I have no doubts that his position on The Tech as a news staffer helped those articles make ink.

The nature of some recently published opinion articles makes me wonder if these articles reflect poorly on The Tech itself. The Tech does state in its opinion policy that columns "are written by individuals and represent the opinion of the author, not necessarily that of the newspaper."

Be that as it may, I have a feeling that there is some sort of "screening" process at The Tech that determines which opinion articles make it to print and which articles do not. The Tech does reserve the right to edit submissions, so they must reserve the right to read them, too. And when fruitless articles end up on an editor's desk, why aren't they cast into the reject pile?

The nature of the articles that a newspaper prints does reflect (or so I think) on the newspaper. A person very well might decide whether or not to read the next issue based upon the articles in the previous one. Columns that stink far worse than any student who doesn't shower and ones by whiny sophomores expressing their dismay at not being able to plan classes into the year 2002 could be driving readers away from The Tech.

After all, it is those who read a newspaper that keep it in print. And so these reflections from a concerned mind will close on this note: The quality (or lack thereof) of articles in a newspaper reflects on both the author and the newspaper. For the sake of the readers, let's all work together on upgrading the quality of the stories we write and publish.

John A. Modzelewski '98